Facial recognition: It’s time for action

Facial recognition: It’s time for action

 |   Brad Smith – President

In July, we shared our views about the need for government regulation and responsible industry measures to address advancing facial recognition technology. As we discussed, this technology brings important and even exciting societal benefits but also the potential for abuse.<…>

In particular, we don’t believe that the world will be best served by a commercial race to the bottom, with tech companies forced to choose between social responsibility and market success

We believe it’s important for governments in 2019 to start adopting laws to regulate this technology. The facial recognition genie, so to speak, is just emerging from the bottle. Unless we act, we risk waking up five years from now to find that facial recognition services have spread in ways that exacerbate societal issues. By that time, these challenges will be much more difficult to bottle back up. <…>

Problems that need to be addressed

At the same time, we need to be clear-eyed about the risks and potential for abuse. As we’ve continued to assess where this technology is heading, we believe there are three problems that governments need to address.

First, especially in its current state of development, certain uses of facial recognition technology increase the risk of decisions and, more generally, outcomes that are biased and, in some cases, in violation of laws prohibiting discrimination.

Second, the widespread use of this technology can lead to new intrusions into people’s privacy.

And third, the use of facial recognition technology by a government for mass surveillance can encroach on democratic freedoms.

We believe all three of these problems should be addressed through legislation, as described below (in the link).



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